A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow

by

Amor Towles

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The Bolsheviks Term Analysis

A revolutionary socialist political party which came to power during the Russian Revolution of 1917. They were responsible for the dismantling the Tsarist autocracy and the aristocracy in Russia, which then led to the establishment of the communist Soviet Union. They ultimately became the Communist Party and are often referred to in the novel as simply “the Party.” The novel portrays them as wanting to empower the peasants and the workers, but sometimes their actions come at the expense of the freedoms of those working-class citizens.

The Bolsheviks Quotes in A Gentleman in Moscow

The A Gentleman in Moscow quotes below are all either spoken by The Bolsheviks or refer to The Bolsheviks. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of A Gentleman in Moscow published in 2016.
Prologue Quotes

History has shown charm to be the final ambition of the leisure class. What I do find surprising is that the author of the poem in question could have become a man so obviously without purpose.

Related Characters: The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov
Page Number: 5
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 1, 1922, An Ambassador Quotes

Thus did the typewriters clack through the night, until that historic document had been crafted which guaranteed for all Russians freedom of conscience (Article 13), freedom of expression (Article 14), freedom of assembly (Article 15), and freedom to have any of these rights revoked should they be “utilized to the detriment of the socialist revolution” (Article 23)!

Related Characters: The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

In the seventeen years since the making of that peace—hardly a generation—Russia had suffered a world war, a civil war, two famines, and the so-called Red Terror. In short, it had been through an era of upheaval that had spared none. Whether one’s leanings were left or right, Red or White, whether one’s personal circumstances had changed for the better or changed for the worse, surely at long last it was time to drink to the health of the nation.

Page Number: 17
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 1, An Appointment Quotes

Ever since its opening in 1905, the hotel’s suites and restaurants had been a gathering spot for the glamorous, influential, and erudite; but the effortless elegance on display would not have existed without the services of the lower floor.

Page Number: 33
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 1, Around and About Quotes

For however decisive the Bolsheviks’ victory had been over the privileged classes on behalf of the Proletariat, they would be having banquets soon enough.

Related Characters: The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity Quotes

Yes, a bottle of wine was the ultimate distillation of time and place; a poetic expression of individuality itself. Yet here it was, cast back into the sea of anonymity, that realm of averages and unknowns.

Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:

Because the Bolsheviks, who were so intent upon recasting the future from a mold of their own making, would not rest until every last vestige of his Russia had been uprooted, shattered, or erased.

Page Number: 144
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 3, Antics, Antitheses, an Accident Quotes

Our churches, known the world over for their idiosyncratic beauty, for their brightly colored spires and improbable cupolas, we raze one by one. We topple the statues of old heroes and strip their names from the streets, as if they had been figments of our imagination. Our poets we either silence, or wait patiently for them to silence themselves.

Page Number: 290
Explanation and Analysis:

In 1916, Russia was a barbarian state. It was the most illiterate nation in Europe, with the majority of its population living in modified serfdom: tilling the fields with wooden plows, beating their wives by candlelight, collapsing on their benches drunk with vodka, and then waking at dawn to humble themselves before their icons. That is, living exactly as their forefathers had lived five hundred years before. Is it not possible that our reverence for all the statues and cathedrals and ancient institutions was precisely what was holding us back?

Page Number: 297
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Antagonists at Arms (And an Absolution) Quotes

“Your sort,” he sneered. “How convinced you have always been of

the rightness of your actions. As if God Himself was so impressed with your precious manners and delightful way of putting things that He blessed you to do as you pleased. What vanity.”

Related Characters: The Bishop (speaker), The Count Alexander Ilyich Rostov
Page Number: 433
Explanation and Analysis:
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The Bolsheviks Term Timeline in A Gentleman in Moscow

The timeline below shows where the term The Bolsheviks appears in A Gentleman in Moscow. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...in front of the People’s Commissariat for Internal Affairs, which conducts police work for the Bolsheviks. The Count states his name and titles, but the prosecutor says he has no more... (full context)
Book 1, 1922, An Ambassador
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...brought him to the Metropol. In 1918, when the former Tsar had been executed by Bolshevik troops, the Count had feared for his grandmother’s life and returned to the family estate... (full context)
Book 1, An Anglican Ashore
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...would attract crowds every night and the service had been flawless. But after 1920, the Bolsheviks had prohibited the use of rubles in fine restaurants (accepting only foreign currencies), thereby closing... (full context)
Book 1, Around and About
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...asparagus servers and silver utensils, enough for a grand banquet. The Count wonders why the Bolsheviks had not taken it all away, and Nina surmises that perhaps they need it. The... (full context)
Book 1, An Assembly
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...from the balcony of the ballroom. Today there will likely be an assembly of the Bolsheviks in the ballroom. It is the second of August and already very hot in the... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
As they watch the Bolshevik Assembly begin, the Count thinks to himself how the social cues of the Bolsheviks are... (full context)
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...The Count is pleased to discover so many parallels between his own class and the Bolsheviks. Nina tells him that she found their debate fascinating—like discovering how a train is built... (full context)
Book 1, Archaeologies
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Friendship, Family, and Love Theme Icon
...revealed to be the Count’s friend Mishka) had knocked on the suite door of a Bolshevik Secretary. Mishka had been surprised to see the Secretary behind the door and burst into... (full context)
Book 1, Advent
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...his return from Paris in 1918, when he had come upon the same church. The Bolsheviks heaved the bells from the Church one by one, presumably to reclaim the metal and... (full context)
Book 2, 1924, Anonymity
Imprisonment, Freedom, and Purpose Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...he is surprised by the repetitiveness of the newspaper. He thinks to himself that the Bolsheviks dwell on the same subject matter every day, with such a narrow set of views... (full context)
Change and Adaptation Theme Icon
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
...can cause an abrupt evolution, and the Count is struck by the realization that the Bolsheviks will not rest until every vestige of his way of life has been “uprooted, shattered,... (full context)
Book 3, An Alliance
Bolshevism and Class Struggle Theme Icon
Osip is surprised to hear that the Count thinks of the Bolsheviks as his countrymen, and asks if the Count thinks of them as gentlemen. The Count... (full context)